Russia May Revise Current Fire Safety Program
EMERCOM, the agency that includes the Russian State Fire Service, reported 129,161 people and 19,343 pieces of apparatus were fighting the 589 fires active on Aug. 5 in the country.
Fires and drought are the big stories in the Russian Federation this week. EMERCOM, the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, on Aug. 5 reported the death toll had reached 50 from fires. EMERCOM, also known as the Emergencies Ministry, includes the Russian State Fire Service, and it reported 129,161 people and 19,343 pieces of apparatus were fighting 589 active fires on Aug. 5. Since the fire season began, about 1.7 million acres have burned.
The ITAR-TASS news service reported the same day that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wants the government to draft a new fire safety program to ensure the country is better prepared for next year's summer fire season. "We are re-equipping Emergencies Ministry units and fire departments, but this will have to be done faster and more money will have to be used in order to upgrade the material and technical base," Medvedev said, according to the news service.
The Russian State Fire Service responds to almost 2,000,000 fires annually with vehicles, aircraft, and 55 fireboats. More than 250,000 of those are industrial fires causing billions of dollars' worth of damage annually, according to EMERCOM.